Why can’t we all just get along?
A review of Guy Sebastian's new song, and his new philosophy on religion.
I have long been a fan of Guy Sebastian and his music, ever since he won the first Australian Idol. With the release of his new album, Armageddon, not much has changed (in fact I bought it the day it was released). It is a great album with a balance of upbeat sing-a-long tracks and melodic ballads. My favourite tracks include the title track ‘Armageddon’ and the light hearted ‘Keeper.’ This album seems to have more mature themes running through it, in light of his marriage and the birth of their first son.
However there is one song that has attracted much attention from the media, his song Get Along. It speaks against religious intolerance and prejudices. The chorus sings:
“Dear God, dear soul, dear Mary , Mohammed. Can we all just get along?”
The song poses a fair question, why can’t we all just get along? Here are 3 of my thoughts:
1. First of all, I love the idea of everyone getting along!
It is a great thing to desire and Christians should be the first people seeking to to love, forgive and get along with others. Jesus called his followers not just to love their friends and family but to even love their enemies. So I want to sing “let’s all get along” loudly but there is a reason I think we are always going to find this hard…
2. Human sin causes us to be selfish and not get along
Guy finishes the song singing “Maybe if we’d work together, we’d already have a heaven here on earth.” This will never happen because of our own sin. It is our very nature to act selfishly, doing what is good for ourselves. That doesn’t excuse the destruction caused by people of every religion (including Christianity) all over the world, but it is the reason for it. Sin is our desire to be god of our own life. It’s also the reason we sometimes even struggle to get along with the people we love most. It is the exact reason why Jesus came to earth to die on the cross, to offer forgiveness of sins.
3. Tolerance doesn't mean 'everyone is right' - that's pluralism
People often cry out for tolerance thinking it means that all people should just agree and get along with each other, which is half right. Real tolerance is not agreeing at all. Tolerance is when you clearly disagree and still respect and love each other. That is the tolerance that I am aiming for.
However Guy Sebastian suggests that we can all agree because it’s the same things we are are looking for. On his Facebook page he said this; “I understand every religion traditionally believed it held a different view, but I think if we take the time to look closer, we will discover that we are really looking at the same thing from a different angle – not better, not worse – just different. That is why I honour my own faith as much as I choose to honour the faith of another.”
That is what pluralism is: when you believe all religions are in essence the same. ‘Different paths up the same mountain’ is the metaphor often used. But a closer look doesn’t reveal this to be true, rather it shows that it can’t be true and is illogical. One simple example is atheist’s believe there are no gods, Christians believe there is one God and Hindu’s believe there are many Gods. It's possible that NONE of them may be true, but they certainly can’t ALL be true!
I of course believe that there is one God, and Jesus is the only way to him. But part of my responsibility, as a follower of Jesus, is to still love and respect atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and any other person who I disagree with.
Just as I disagree with Guy Sebastian’s view but will still enjoy listening to his music.